Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
With in-person theatre a rarity for the foreseeable future, many companies and performers from Broadway and beyond are showcasing their work online. Below are performances you can watch this Wednesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 8, from the comfort of your couch for free or at low cost.
TDF: Aubrey Lynch II and Desmond Richardson in Conversation
On Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, TDF presents a spirited conversation with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alums Aubrey Lynch II and Desmond Richardson. The longtime friends will reminisce about their time in the lauded dance troupe, their years on Broadway (Lynch in The Lion King and Richardson in Fosse and After Midnight) and why they believe arts education is "extra-essential," not extracurricular. Watch for free on TDF's Facebook page.
The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata
On Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, ever since the shutdown began, the Metropolitan Opera has been sharing productions from its Live in HD series nightly at 7:30 p.m. ET. But it also presents weekly student streams that debut on Wednesdays. These productions have been specially selected for families and are complemented by online educational materials. This week's offering is La Traviata, Verdi's romantic tragedy about a courtesan whose chance at true love is thwarted by bourgeois mores. Tony-winning director Michael Mayer helmed this 2018 mounting, which stars Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez as ill-fated lovers, and Quinn Kelsey as his disapproving father. Watch for free until Friday at 5 p.m. ET on the Metropolitan Opera's website.
Ballet Hispánico: 50 Year Legacy Experience
On Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET, Ballet Hispánico celebrates its half-century legacy with excerpts from seminal works. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro hosts this virtual retrospective featuring clips of Cada Noche… Tango by Graciela Daniele, Danse Creole by Geoffrey Holder, Con Brazos Abiertos by Michelle Manzanales, Solo by Susan Marshall, Batucada Fantástica by Vicente Nebrada, Good Night Paradise by Ramón Oller, Guajira by Pedro Ruiz, Palladium Nights by Willie Rosario and Vilaro's own Asuka. Watch for free on Ballet Hispánico's Facebook page.
JCC: The People in the Picture: A Conversation with Musical Performances
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the JCC presents a conversation about The People in the Picture, a musical about a Jewish grandmother who was once a Yiddish Theatre star in pre-WWII Poland. The show had a brief run on Broadway a decade ago, and its creators Iris Rainer Dart, Mike Stoller and Artie Butler will talk about its development and its future. Four-time Tony nominee Judy Kuhn and Samantha Massell will also perform a few songs from the score. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.
The Metropolitan Opera: Eugene Onegin
On Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera presents Tchaikovsky's romantic tragedy Eugene Onegin with Peter Mattei as the title character, the object of affection for Anna Netrebko's Tatiana. Elena Maximova, Alexey Dolgov and Štefan Kocán costar in this 2017 mounting. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Rigoletto, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Stars in the House: Rock of Ages Reunion
On Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, don't stop believin'! It's a Rock of Ages reunion on Stars in the House! Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley welcome performers who appeared in the original Broadway production, including Constantine Maroulis, Adam Dannheisser, Kerry Butler and Frankie Grande. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Lincoln Center: Keynote: Anna Deavere Smith
On Thursday at noon ET, as part of its Lincoln Center Activate initiative, the culture hub presents performer, playwright and educator Anna Deavere Smith in an insightful talk about how teachers, artists and schools can collaborate on better education outcomes. A live Q&A follows the speech. Register for the free Zoom link.
Roundabout Theatre Company: Reverb Theatre Arts Festival
On Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, the Roundabout Theatre Company presents its inaugural Reverb Theatre Arts Festival showcasing artists with disabilities. A few months ago, the venerable nonprofit put out a call inviting artists with disabilities to submit original monologues, dance pieces, spoken word and musical works. The result is 24 short collaborations between emerging artists and pros, including Tony-winning performer Ali Stroker, Tony-nominated director Scott Ellis, Tony-nominated performer Lauren Ridloff, choreographer Chase Brock and songwriter Adam Gwon. Register to receive the free viewing link; the recording is viewable until Thursday, May 20. ASL interpretation, closed captioning and audio description are available.
John Cullum: An Accidental Star
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, two-time Tony winner John Cullum reflects on his 65-year career in An Accidental Star. He'll croon songs from the shows he's known for, such as Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century, The Scottsboro Boys and Urinetown, and share never-before-heard stories about working with stars like Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Coproduced by three theatres he has longstanding relationships with—The Vineyard Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House and Irish Rep where it was filmed—this intimate and inspiring solo show is a must-see for theatre history buffs. Tickets for opening night are pay-what-you-wish. Not available? The recording will be viewable on demand until Thursday, April 22 with tickets starting at $28.50 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount.
Theater in Quarantine: The Gas Heart
On Thursday at 7 and 9 p.m. ET, downtown multihyphenate Joshua William Gelb presents his adaptation of The Gas Heart, Tristan Tzara's Dada classic about six body parts in conversation. Gelb will play all the roles in dialogue with each other via a series of live-captured video loops. Katie Rose McLaughlin directs and choreographs this ambitious production. Watch for free on Gelb's YouTube channel.
The York Theatre Company: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
On Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, The York Theatre Company presents internationally renowned German chanteuse Ute Lemper in Rendezvous with Marlene, a celebration of Marlene Dietrich inspired by a three-hour conversation she had with the Hollywood icon back in 1988. Directed by Daniel Nardicio as a cinematic cabaret, the performance features some of Dietrich's signature numbers as well as secrets divulged during that long-ago chat. Tickets are $20.
American Repertory Theater: Hype Man
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, American Repertory Theater at Harvard University presents Idris Goodwin's Hype Man, about a multicultural hip-hop trio whose members face identity and political crises in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. John Oluwole ADEkoje and Shawn LaCount direct Kadahj Bennett, Rachel Cognata and Michael Knowlton star. Tickets start at $10.
The Metropolitan Opera: Francesca da Rimini
On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, the Metropolitan Opera shares a gem from its vaults: Piero Faggioni's sumptuous 1984 mounting of Francesca da Rimini, Zandonai's adaptation of a section of Dante's Inferno with Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo as the passionate lovers Francesca and Paolo. Watch for free for 23 hours after the start time on the Metropolitan Opera's website. You can still stream yesterday's opera, Eugene Onegin, until 6:30 p.m. ET today.
Broadway's Best Shows Spotlight on Plays: Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, since spring of 2020, Broadway's Best Shows has presented performances of important plays featuring big stars acting from their respective homes. The series continues with Pearl Cleage's comedy Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous headlined by real-life sisters and Broadway icons Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad. Decades ago, Anna and her director Betty sparked outrage when the former bared it all on stage in an iconic drama. Now a theatre festival wants to restage that incendiary production with a younger performer in Anna's role. Can these women from different generations learn anything from each other? Heather Alicia Simms and Alicia Stith costar, and Tony nominee Camille A. Brown directs. Tickets are $15 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Monday and proceeds benefit The Actors Fund.
The Joyce Theater: Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with tap master Ayodele Casel's Chasing Magic, an evening of works about the power of reconnecting. The program features a new collaboration with choreographer Ronald K. Brown as well as "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Cheek to Cheek," both co-choreographed by Anthony Morigerato. Casel is joined on the Joyce stage by Morigerato, Naomi Funaki, Amanda Castro and John Manzari. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 21.
Stars in the House: Star-Studded Birthday Party
On Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Seth Rudetsky throws a starry party for his sister Nancy on Stars in the House! Guests helping him celebrate include Hamilton's Mandy Gonzalez, Randy Rainbow and Hairspray songwriter Marc Shaiman. Watch for free on YouTube though donations to The Actors Fund are encouraged.
Asolo Repertory Theatre: Camelot in Concert
Florida's Asolo Repertory Theatre presents a virtual concert of Camelot, the classic 1960 musical about the love triangle between King Arthur, his beloved Queen Guenevere and Lancelot. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's celebrated score includes "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Loved You Once in Silence" and the title number. Tickets start at $20.
The Joyce Theater: Step Afrika!: Stono
Chelsea dance haven The Joyce continues its digital season with Step Afrika!'s powerful Stono, which uses the troupe's signature blend of percussive, traditional African and contemporary dance to evoke the little-known Stono slave rebellion of 1739 in South Carolina. Tickets are $25 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 14.
San Francisco Ballet: Jewels
California's acclaimed San Francisco Ballet presents George Balanchine's glittering gem Jewels, a full-length abstract ballet featuring three separate sections: Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, set to music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. Tickets are $29 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Wednesday, April 21.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran
Washington, DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran, Javaad Alipoor's multimedia exploration of the global class divide. The second installment of a trilogy examining identity in our high-tech age, this dark comedy fuses online performance and a live Instagram feed to examine entitlement, consumption and social media through the eyes of Iran's elite. Tickets are $18 and the recording is viewable until Sunday, April 18.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Blues Suite
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater shares a 1985 recording of Blues Suite, the ballet that launched the invaluable dance troupe in 1958. Ailey was just 27 when he choreographed this half-hour piece, which is set in a rural Texas Depression-era sporting house, as revelers dance, drink and flirt to blues music. Watch for free until Tuesday, April 13 at 5 p.m. ET on the troupe's YouTube channel.
New Light Theater Project: The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests
Off-Off Broadway's inventive New Light Theater Project presents Michael Aguirre's genre-defying The Jackson C. Frank Listening Party w/ Special Guests. A man named Allen plays the sole album by folk singer Jackson C. Frank, whose career was cut short by schizophrenia and depression. In between tracks, Allen shares the story of his older brother, who disappeared for an entire year. Sarah Norris directs Aguirre in this one-man meditation on isolation, mental illness and the power of music. Register to receive the free viewing link; a $15 donation is suggested. The recording is viewable until Sunday.
Goodman Theater: Pedro Páramo
Chicago's lauded Goodman Theatre gives audiences a peek at its archives with a recording of Pedro Páramo. Based on Juan Rulfo's influential 1955 novel of the same name, the production was created by Cuba's Teatro Buendía and presented at the Goodman in 2013 featuring a cast of American and Cuban actors. A pioneering work of magical realism, the story centers on a young man who travels to his recently deceased mother's hometown to track down his long-lost father. The show is performed in Spanish with closed captioning in English and Spanish. Reservations are required to receive the free viewing link and the recording is viewable until Sunday.
George Street Playhouse: Fully Committed
New Jersey's George Street Playhouse presents a new online production of Becky Mode's Fully Committed, a satire of NYC's haute cuisine scene. 30 Rock star Maulik Pancholy plays more than 40 characters in this one-man comedy, including an aspiring actor/harried restaurant reservationist who's having a really bad day, along with all of his demanding patrons. The 1999 play was initially a smash Off Broadway, and was revamped and revived on Broadway in 2016. With sitcom and stage vet Pancholy as the main ingredient, this digital reimagining is a delicious tour de farce. Tickets are $33 but if you're a TDF member, log in to your account to purchase them at a discount. The recording is viewable until Sunday, April 11. Closed captions and audio description are available.
New York City Center: American Theatre Ballet: A Ratmansky Celebration
New York City Center presents an evening of works by American Ballet Theatre's celebrated resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The program was recorded live on stage at City Center sans audience and features excerpts from The Seasons, Seven Sonatas and The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the world premiere of Bernstein in a Bubble, set to music by Leonard Bernstein. Tickets are $25 and the recording is available until Sunday, April 18.
ABT Incubator: She Didn't
American Ballet Theatre continues its Incubator series of brand-new digital dance works with She Didn't by company member Joseph Markey. A pas de deux set to music by John Coltrane and Taylor Deupree, the short stars Markey's fellow ABTers Kanon Kimura and Javier Rivet. Watch for free on ABT's YouTube channel.
Irish Repertory Theatre: Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane
NYC's venerable Irish Rep continues its Poetic Reflections: Words Upon the Window Pane, a trio of shorts by filmmaker Matthew Thompson featuring writers and actors reading odes by poets from Ireland, the US and England. The second installment, Identity, is streaming for free on the theatre's YouTube channel, where you'll also find the first part, Home and Sense of Place. If you happen to be passing Irish Rep's West 22nd Street home, these videos will also be projected in the lobby windows.
Raven Snook is the Editor of TDF Stages. Follow her at @RavenSnook. Follow TDF at @TDFNYC.
Top image: Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen who are costarring in Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous on Thursday.